Fiuuuuu… klops. Thump.
That was the sound of a pasta dough flying against the wall and landing on the kitchen counter.
My ex-boyfriend wasn’t that good at dealing with difficulties. And yes, that pasta dough was indeed difficult. Maybe there was too much flour, or the dough was too warm or I don’t know, it just kept ripping and cracking when we tried to roll it through the pasta machine. But the thing that made him toss the dough across the kitchen was that he really loves pasta. And when the pasta let him down, he felt cheated.
Pasta lovers are their own species. For them, it really is not indifferent which pasta you use with what sauce. With them, you can easily spend an hour discussing the details of a certain pasta recipe. Their eyes shine and mouths water when they talk about pasta and they are serious about it.
Yes, they are in love.
And I’m grateful that I’ve met pasta lovers in my life, because they have tought me to respect the pasta. For me a pasta dish used to be all about the sauce. Drown the pasta with it. Heavy flavours. But nowadays I really want to taste the actual pasta. And have only few things with it: olive oil or butter, fresh herbs and maybe some seafood or mushrooms – something really simple.
It was back in 1974 when James Beard, an American cookbook author, teacher, columnist and television personality, the “Dean of American cookery” wrote in his In Praise of Pasta (Beard on Food):
“I might sauce it very simply by soaking chopped garlic in warm olive oil for a few minutes and tossing it with the pasta. That is one of my great favorites.”
And he was a pioneer. In those days, nobody ate pasta like this in America (it was all about tomato sauce). So when I noticed a pasta recipe adapted from James Beard in Food52 with words:
“you’ll want to scream this recipe from the rooftops”
I had to try it immediately.
And they were right. I really wanted to yell out loud how ridiculously good it was. And simple: butter (a lot), onions and Madeira.
You’ll love it.
Butter Onion Pasta (serves 4 to 6)
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 0,7 kg yellow onions, halved and sliced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 0,6 dl Madeira
- hot cooked pasta for 4-6 persons
- flaky salt, for serving
- grated Parmesan, for serving
Warm the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and translucent. Stir in the sugar and a pinch of salt, and reduce the heat to low. Cook the onions slowly for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Be patient! When they’re done, they should be dark and caramelized.
Stir in the Madeira, cook for a few more minutes, and then add the cooked pasta to the pan. Shower on a generous dusting of Parmesan, some salt and toss the pasta well with the sauce. Serve with additional grated Parmesan and flaky salt.